TRAUMA - As The World Dies

Trauma - As The World Dies

10 songs
44:11 minutes
***** ***
Pure Steel


American thrash metal band Trauma are among the pioneers of the Bay Area scene from the early Eighties. Even though Cliff Burton started his career with them before joining Metallica, Trauma never even got a sliver of the success of the Big 4: Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth. After the release of their debut album Scratch And Scream in 1984, the band took a thirty year break before they tried a comeback in 2013 with two members of the original line-up. The second album Rapture And Wrath (2015) is followed this year by As The World Dies, a powerful exercise in metal.

Thrash metal is the backbone of Trauma’s music, and yet I wouldn’t label them a classic Bay Area thrash metal band. One reason is the high voice of vocalist and band founder Donny Hillier that can be compared to Geoff Tate (ex-Queensr˙che) and Alan Tecchio (Watchtower, Hades,...). His vocals come with a nice portion of drama, which works for instance with good effect on the title track. Bands that have been around for so long have their roots in the far past. It’s obvious that Trauma have been influenced by the NWOBHM movement, as can be heard by the fast dual guitar parts that are not unlike those of the early Iron Maiden. Most tracks are quite catchy, always get quickly to the point and surprise occasionally with interesting twists and turns. Especially the concluding Savage is a wonderfully arranged hymn that works certainly in a live setting. The straightforward Run For Cover, which could also have been a leftover from Iron Maiden’s debut album, is good fun. Only Last Rites didn’t work so well with me due to a relatively high kitsch factor that is more disturbing than entertaining.

Apart from this little blemish, As The World Dies is an excellent album. Those who like heavier metal without going too extreme should feel addressed. This album is a dynamic mix of heavy, thrash and progressive metal, all done in the spirit of the old school.

Back to Reviews